(Bloomberg) -- Celebrity physician Mehmet Oz, who hosts the “Dr. Oz” television show, is entering next year’s Republican primary in Pennsylvania to replace retiring U.S. Senator Pat Toomey in a key race for determining who controls the chamber.

Oz made the announcement Tuesday in an opinion piece posted on the Washington Examiner’s website and is expected to appear Tuesday night on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show.

“We have not managed our crises as effectively as past generations,” Oz wrote. “During the pandemic, I learned that when you mix politics and medicine, you get politics instead of solutions. That’s why I am running for the U.S. Senate: to help fix the problems and to help us heal.”

Oz, 61, a heart surgeon, became nationally known as a featured health expert on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” He has written books and hosted his own show but has not run for political office before. He has faced criticism for controversial medical opinions, including support for treating Covid-19 with hydroxychloroquine.

Oz joins a crowded GOP field that was shaken up last week when Sean Parnell, the candidate former President Donald Trump endorsed, suspended his campaign after a judge sided with his wife in a custody battle. 

Other Republicans seeking the nomination include Carla Sands, who was Trump’s ambassador to Denmark, real estate investor Jeff Bartos and conservative political commentator Kathy Barnette. David McCormick, chief executive officer of Bridgewater Associates, may also run, according to the Associated Press.

Oz was born in Ohio, raised in Delaware and received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a joint medical degree and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton Business School, according to his online biography. He has lived in New Jersey but said he’s lived in Pennsylvania since last year.

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